I. COMPLAINT POLICY
This policy and the procedures set forth below apply to complaints regarding ABO Board Certified Orthodontists, hereafter referred to as Diplomates, orthodontists seeking ABO certification, and individuals who misrepresent themselves as ABO Diplomates.
A. Any person concerned about the qualifications or conduct of a Diplomate or other individual covered by this Policy may submit a complaint to the ABO. The ABO will consider and investigate all those complaints that contain particularized allegations which, if proven, may demonstrate noncompliance with ABO certification or certification renewal requirements or Disciplinary Policy. The ABO will proceed to investigate a complaint only if it sets forth facts or allegations which, if substantiated, would indicate non-compliance with certification or certification renewal requirements or the Disciplinary Policy.
B. The ABO will not consider or investigate any complaint limited to matters of personal or professional disagreement with a Diplomate.
II. COMPLAINT PROCEDURE
A. The steps to follow in filing a complaint with the ABO are as follows:
1. A complaint must be in writing.
2. A complaint should include as much information and detail as possible about the circumstances that form the basis of the complaint and should include, wherever possible, documentation of the alleged offense.
3. If a complaint contains particularized allegations which, if substantiated, may indicate that a Diplomate or other individual has not complied with certification or certification renewal requirements or has violated the Disciplinary Policy, the ABO may request that additional written information be provided. Such information might include corroborating letters or other documentation not previously provided by the complainant.
4. The ABO shall attempt to maintain the confidentiality of the complainant. However, the ABO cannot, and does not, guarantee such confidentiality. The substance of any allegation or information may be released to the person complained of for purposes of obtaining a response from such person.
5. The complaint may be disclosed to the Directors of the ABO, staff of ABO, attorneys, and other persons necessary, in the sole discretion of ABO, to properly investigate the matter.
III. INVESTIGATIVE PROCEDURE
A. If a complaint does not raise issues relating to compliance with certification or certification renewal requirements or the Disciplinary Policy, ABO will so notify the complainant, and no further action will be taken by the ABO on that complaint.
B. If a complaint in accordance with this policy gives reason to believe that there may have been non-compliance with certification or certification renewal requirements or with the Disciplinary Policy, ABO staff will conduct an investigation in accordance with the Disciplinary Policy and will notify the individual against whom the complaint was made of the allegations of the complaint. As part of its investigation, the ABO may require that individual and/or the complainant to answer specific questions or provide other information, documentation, or materials.
C. The individual under consideration will be requested to provide written response to the allegations within 15 days.
D. The ABO staff will report the findings of its investigations to a Legal Committee to be constituted in accordance with the Disciplinary Policy. The procedures set forth in the Disciplinary Policy and Procedures will then apply.
E. The Complainant will be advised whether the matter has been presented to a Legal Committee and if so, what the decision of the Committee has been.
F. If there is an appeal from the decision of the Legal Committee, the Complainant will be notified of the result of the appeal.